What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD for short) is a condition where parts of the digestive system (including the large and small bowel) become inflamed.
Inflammation usually refers to your body’s process of fighting against things that harm it, such as infections and injuries.
In people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the body does not recognise signals to stop the inflammation and so the inflammation continues.
Continued inflammation damages the walls of the intestine causing ulceration and this can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms including abdominal cramps, pain, diarrhoea and tiredness.
What are the main types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Two major types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease are Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Crohn's Disease can affect any part of the digestive system (from the mouth to the anus). Ulcerative Colitis affects the large intestine (large bowel) and rectum.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic condition, with significant differences in the severity and pattern of symptoms affecting each patient.
Your Doctor is crucial to helping you manage your Inflammatory Bowel Disease symptoms. If you have any questions about Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the treatment of the disease, ask your Doctor. It is important to follow their treatment advice.
For useful information on Inflammatory Bowel Disease please refer to the Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust (CCNZ) website: crohnsandcolitis.org.nz